Jay Evensen: Are Americans not going to own cars in the future? Don’t believe it

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“Ponder your daily driving habits. How many trips would you feel comfortable replacing with an Uber or Lyft ride?”

Ponder your daily driving habits. How many trips would you feel comfortable replacing with an Uber or Lyft ride? How many would you replace if the ride were in a driverless car?

If you’re like me, your week consists of a few quick trips to the grocery store for one thing or another, and maybe multiple Saturday trips to a hardware store because you keep buying the wrong part, or your home improvement project leads you from one need to another.

Maybe, as is often the case in Utah, you make several trips per week for ecclesiastical reasons.

Want to stand in the front yard waiting for a ride-share car every time?

Maybe it’s a Western thing. Out here the distances still are wide and people still live mainly in suburban homes with yards. I’m more than a little skeptical about the predictions I’m reading.

Business Insider recently reported on a study that predicted only 20 percent of Americans will own cars by the early 2030s. Economic factors were seen as a huge incentive for this. Families, the report said, would save up to $5,600 yearly by using ride shares rather than buying and paying upkeep on a car. This, in turn, is expected to add about $1 trillion in disposable income into the economy.

Which might not be so impressive if your current job is tied to automotive sales.

The Washington Post quoted a historian who studies the social effects of cars as saying, “The automobile just isn’t that important to people’s lives anymore.”

And then, as if to prove to us old folks that the rising generation is weird, NPR recently cited figures showing the percentage of high school seniors who carry a driver’s license fell from 85.3 percent in 1996 to 71.5 percent in 2015.

What? Kids aren’t pining for their 16th birthdays any more so they can shrug off the shackles of a bike with baseball cards strapped to the spokes?

No one seems to…

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